Posts Tagged ‘orchestra’

(2013)

  • Instrumentation: 1201, 2000, kybrd, 55331, electronics + video
  • Duration: 14’00
  • Performers:Group of Twenty-Seven Orchestra, cond. Eric Paetkau, soloist Gregory Oh
  • Commissioned by the Group of Twenty-Seven Orchestra

Program Notes

Video and recording available by request

Much of the concert experience is visual, even though we come “to hear the music”. The athleticism of performance, the split-second coordination required to make a piece of music come together, the thrill of seeing a group of individuals working together to create sound—all of these elements are vitally important to a successful live performance.

Concerto for Mozart Piano Videos pushes this relationship to the front of our attention, because the visual element of the “solo piano” part is borrowed from other performances. The keyboard soloist in the piece plays a sampler that controls 88 audiovisual clips, and each of these clips is of another pianist performing Mozart. The result is a visual collage: although you are seeing and hearing a new piece in a new performance, part of what you are seeing and hearing is also an old piece in an old performance.

This trompe-l’oeil aside, Concerto for Mozart Piano Videos functions like a piano concerto in the traditional sense. A soloist is supported by an orchestra, the only difference being that the pianos you are seeing and hearing were played on other concerts with different pieces of music.

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

George Benjamin was the San Francisco Symphony‘s composer-in-residence this month for this year’s installation of their Project San Francisco. Truthfully, I was not familiar with Benjamin’s work, but it came highly recommended by many of my colleagues, and so I looked forward to hearing it. I attended the SFS’s final concert with Benjamin on Saturday night (16 Jan 2010), where he conducted two of his pieces: Ringed by the Flat Horizon (1980), the piece that brought him to international attention, and a more recent piece, Duet (2008; see YouTube video below). In general, while I found Benjamin’s pieces highly competent works, I don’t think he lives up to the (perhaps unfairly) high standard people attribute to him. (more…)

(2008)

  • Instrumentation: orchestra
  • Duration: 12’00

Program Notes

This piece deals with my interest in both transitional musical materials and the transitive nature of sound itself, which disappears almost as soon as it is created. I have conceived the form of the piece as an exploration of transition, presenting numerous sounds in motion as they come into and out of existence in time, and showing them from several perspectives so as to allow the effects of time and transition to change the very nature of the sounds and suggest new meanings.

(2004)

  • Instrumentation: orchestra
  • Duration: 7’00

Program Notes

Desde was written in the summer of 2004 and is my first orchestral work. In several of the pieces leading up to Desde, I had begun experimenting with ways of dealing with the problem of culturally biased musical perception, which colours all musical experiences. This came about as I compared my non-classical music education with the formal experiences I received in university, and I wanted to find ways to combine what I felt at the time to be several often-conflicting methods of hearing music.